Health and social care leaders in Greater Manchester are coming together to recognise the significant contribution being made by women as part of the sector’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On International Women’s Day (Monday, March 8), the city-region marks one year since the beginning of the outbreak, and three months into the biggest ever vaccine roll out.

Women make up 80% of the workforce and as such play a vital role in Greater Manchester’s health and social care system.

Sarah Price, interim chief officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“Representing over three quarters of our workforce, our female colleagues across health and care have worked tirelessly over the past year.

“They have managed so many unknowns over such a long period of time, often moving to work in the areas that needed them most, seeing colleagues fight the virus, at the same time as being regularly at risk themselves. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

“For some, this has coincided with new and unexpected pressures at home, such as home schooling, caring for loved ones in need or even stepping up and acting as a community organiser rallying volunteers in their local community.

“We should remember this isn’t just those on the frontline. Working from home has its own challenges and impact on people’s wellbeing. Lots of women are swapping between different roles without even stepping outside their front door.”

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, as the body overseeing the region’s Covid-19 response, including the vaccination programme, is leading moves to highlight the diverse experiences, roles and responsibilities of women during this challenging time.

Dr Joanna Bircher, GP and clinical director for the Greater Manchester GP Excellence Programme, said:

“The last year has been tough for everyone and I’ve been proud to see how we have all worked so hard to care for people and support each other.

“The last 12 months have been the most challenging of my career – and at the same time I’ve had to balance that with family and other commitments. I think it is really important that we take the time to recognise the special contribution of women – taking on so many roles – and really just getting on with it.”

The #GMwomen campaign features photos of a wide range of women from across the city region listing the different roles they have taken on – both personal and professional. The Partnership has been joined by other organisations across the city region keen to shine a light on the hard work and dedication of their staff.

Everyone can get involved in the #GMwomen campaign by sharing social media posts and pledging messages of thanks and support. Any Greater Manchester women are welcome to share their stories and experiences using #GMwomen.

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